but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The first half of the sentence fragment found in vs 1 is found in the last vs of chapter 7: “Then they all went home,” “they” being the religous leaders, the temple guards, the discilpes and the crowd. They went home except for Jesus, Who went to the Mount of Olives, with certainty, to pray! Instead of panicking, whining or fussing, Jesus prayes!
The next morning, He returns to the temple. Now, you’d think by now He would have had enough of the temple, religous leaders and even the crowds, but He returns because God has sent Him there for a Divine appointment with a group of people and specifically with a women who was brought to the temple.
So Jesus is teaching and a crowd is gathering. Since the religous leaders had not been sucessful in entrapping Jesus for teaching without their approval , they decided to try to pitch a difficult and controversial legal question Jesus’ way to see if He’d either answer in a way that was contrary to the law or unpopular with the people. So while He’s teaching, “the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.” Now Lev 20:10 plainly states that the penalty for audultry was death, by stoning, for both the man and the women (this means they would throw rocks at you til you died).
So, here’s the women, but where’s the man? We’ll come back to that!
So they drag this poor women in, caught in the act! She obviously would be frightened and worried about her fate, but Jesus, instead of condemning her, simply bent down and wrote in the dirt. They keep asking, “what do we do with her” and He keeps writing. Some speculate that he wrote the 10 Commandments. I believe He may have written something much more personal!
Jesus finally responds with, “let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (vs 7). Jesus then just stooped down and kept writing! Vs 9 records that the adulterous women’s accusers began to exit, beginning with the oldest, leaving only the woman and Jesus. He simply tells her, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (vs 11)
So what backed down the Pharasees? Obviously, it was what ever Jesus wrote in the sand and I believe the key to knowing lies in verse 11 . Many scholars believe that a difining artical was omitted in the translational process and that maybe the verse should read, “let any one of you who is without THIS sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. Interesting. If you take this grammer, coupled with the fact that the religous leaders could quickly and easily access this woman, first thing in the morning, along with the gaping absence of the male offender–the implication might be that some among the leaders might be aquanted with this lady just a little too much! I’m not accusing -just sayin?!?
Jesus may have written names in the sand or maybe specific sins! Whatever it was, it hit home!
All of us are guilty and all of us are broken, but only One of us has the cure–His Name is Jesus.
Think about it!